(From L to R) Kenai Central senior Brooke Satathite, Homer junior Autumn Daigle, Palmer sophomore Sophie Wright and Kenai senior Jaycie Calvert race in the girls 1,600 meters Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

(From L to R) Kenai Central senior Brooke Satathite, Homer junior Autumn Daigle, Palmer sophomore Sophie Wright and Kenai senior Jaycie Calvert race in the girls 1,600 meters Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

SoHi boys, Grace girls claim team titles at SoHi preview meet

The sun was shining, the wind stayed down, down jackets were replaced by T-shirts and Soldotna’s Justin Maile Field provided the perfect venue for Saturday’s Region III Preview track and field meet.

With all the Region III track programs down for the weekend, it was a perfect indication of what to expect in four weeks when the real races fire off.

Amid anxiously awaited warm weather, the Soldotna Stars won the boys team title with 117 points, beating runner-up Anchorage Christian’s 109, while Grace Christian won the girls team crown in more dominant fashion with 119 points to second-place Soldotna’s 88. Peninsula teams took three of the top four spots in the girls team race, with Homer finishing third and Kenai Central taking fourth.

Peninsula athletes also claimed victories in eight of the 34 total event finals, including four relay wins. Among the individual winners was Kenai senior Hayley Maw in the girls 100-meter dash, Homer junior Marina Carroll in the girls high jump, and a pair of Seward winners in senior Coral Petrosius winning the girls discus and junior Shayne Sullivan claiming the boys long jump.

The SoHi boys showcased promising speed with two relay victories — the 400- and 800-meter relays — that provided a good chunk of points to help them secure the team title. Three runners competed on both winning teams, and all agreed that the pleasant conditions that followed a week of brutally cold spring weather played a role.

“(Ben Booth) was telling me how it’s one of the greatest days,” said junior Chris Edelman with a laugh.

“I am so happy right now,” Booth responded.

Booth, Edelman and sophomore Eli Cravens joined together to race both sprint relays, with junior Zach Hanson running only the 400-meter relay and Tyler Morrison coming in to run only the 800-meter relay.

The short relay won in a team time of 45.73 seconds, just .16 seconds ahead of second-place Wasilla. The longer relay won in 1:37.05, with a more comfortable margin of 3.94 seconds over runner-up Palmer.

The three teammates said the amount of practice they’ve put in on the small details helped them win Saturday.

“It’s our handoffs,” Booth explained. “We work on those to make sure they’re pretty good.”

Booth and Cravens also shined in the individual sprints. Booth finished second in the boys 100 and fourth in the 200, while Cravens took fourth in the 100 and sixth in the 200.

The SoHi girls 400-meter relay also pointed to fast handoffs as a key to success on Saturday, but added another trick to remember when racing a fast relay.

“Handoffs and leaning in the corners,” said junior Kylie Ness. “Just angle in, leaning into it a lot.”

Ness joined with senior Brittany Taylor, sophomore Mikayla Leadens and junior Madylin Kessler in winning the sprint relay, and credited coaches Eric Pomerleau and Phil Leck for working with them at least two days a week on handoffs and proper cornering to squeeze as much speed as possible out of it. Saturday was the first time the four ran it together, and expressed confidence that the same combination could win a Region III title in four weeks.

“We’ll be region champs,” Taylor predicted.

Taylor finished the day running the 1,600-meter relay with Ellie Burns, Holleigh Jaime and Ayla Read, a team that finished fifth.

The boys 1,600-meter relay, the final one of the day, saw the Kenai Kardinals squad of Elias Machen-Gray, Nathan Haakenson, Kaden McKibben and Jarett Wilson race to a second-place result to put an exclamation point on the day for Kenai.

“It’s always the 4-by-(400),” Machen-Gray said about the consensus toughest race of the day. “It’s always rainy or cold, or whatever, but today was good.”

Machen-Gray got the Kards off to a fast start on the first leg by handing off to Haakenson with the lead. Haakenson and McKibben mixed it up with the leading group of Wasilla and Palmer before handing off to anchor leg Wilson, who picked up one spot to take second.

“Perfect day, nice and sunny,” Wilson said.

Wilson also racked up individual finishes of second in the 300-meter hurdles and fifth in the 110 hurdles to get his hurdling season on track.

Kenai also secured victory in the girls 3,200-meter relay to make it three Kardinals wins on the day.

Kenai nearly got another win in the girls 100 hurdles but junior Savannah Wilson had to settle for second as Kodiak junior Hallee Blair swept both girls hurdles races. Wilson also finished third in the girls 300 hurdles, and said she’s targeting better results at the Region III meet in May.

“I felt pretty good, and I won my prelim (on Friday),” Wilson said. “I’m hoping to come back and do better.”

Wilson praised the help she’s received from hurdles coach Maria Calvert, who has stepped up to the position after Wilson and the hurdling crew needed a coach.

“She’s helped a lot with technique, I couldn’t ask for any better,” she said.

Among other highlights of the day, 97 combined runners contested the girls and boys 1,600 meters, forcing seven heats to be run, and the winners posted hot times. Wasilla senior Allison VanPelt posted a new 2019 state best in the 1,600 with a time of 5:15.21, while ACS sophomore Tristian Merchant won the boys 1,600 in 4:32.10, after posting a sizzling time of 9:28.21 on Friday in the 3,200, the current fastest in the state this season.

VanPelt won three races total — the girls 400, 800 and 1,600 — while Merchant won two races in the boys 1,600 and 3,200.

Also, the ACS boys ran the top 3,200-meter relay time this year with an 8:45.11.

Peninsula athletes made some noise in the girls 3,200 as Kenai senior Jaycie Calvert led a 2-3-4 finish for local runners, with Homer junior Autumn Daigle and SoHi sophomore Erika Arthur packing the top five behind race winner Mazzy Jackson of Grace.

In the throwing events, SoHi placed three in the top five in the boys shot put and had three of the top four in the discus, but came out with no winners. Junior Galen Brantley III led the way in both with second-place finishes. Fellow senior Cody Nye was second in the shot and junior Melvin Lloyd was fifth, while in the discus, Nye was third and Lloyd was fourth.

In the girls throws, Homer senior Anna Brock was third in the shot and second in the discus, behind disc winner Coral Petrosius of Seward.

In the triple jumps, SoHi junior Tyler Morrison was second in the boys event with a new PR of 40 feet, 3.5 inches, and Kenai junior Chelsea Plagge was second with a PR of 33 feet, 1.5 inches.

Region III Preview Meet

Friday/Saturday at Soldotna High School

GIRLS

Team scores — 1. Grace Christian, 119 points; 2. Soldotna, 88; 3. Homer, 81; 4. Kenai Central, 71; 5. Kodiak, 69; 6. Wasilla, 67; 7. Palmer, 36; 8. Colony, 25; 9. Seward, 24; 10. Birchwood Christian, 16; 11. Valdez, 12; 12. ACS, 9; 13. Nikiski, 3.

Individual

100 — 1. Hayley Maw, Ken, 12.77; 2. Laura Ellis, Gra, 12.82; 3. Carissa Houck, ACS, 13.13; 4. Coral Petrosius, Sew, 13.23; 5. Mary Kate Parks, ACS, 13.34; 6. Mariyah Becker, BCS, 13.41.

200 — 1. Laura Ellis, Gra, 26.03; 2. Olivia Davies, Was, 26.53; 3. Hayley Maw, Ken, 26.64; 4. Laura Inama, Hom, 27.06; 5. Brittany Taylor, Sol, 27.40; 6. Mary Kate Parks, ACS, 27.40.

400 — 1. Allison VanPelt, Was, 1:01.30; 2. Ashleigh Nicholson, Kod, 1:02.24; 3. Mariyah Becker, BCS, 1:02.44; 4. Brittany Taylor, Sol, 1:03.07; 5. Kristen Beames, Pal, 1:05.27; 6. Monica Bustillos, Col, 1:05.83.

800 — 1. Allison VanPelt, Was, 2:24.43; 2. Sophie Wright, Pal, 2:27.26; 3. Serena Becker, BCS, 2:33.43; 4. Brooke Miler, Hom, 2:35.10; 5. Jaycie Calvert, Ken, 2:36.53; 6. Ellie Burns, Sol, 2:37.46.

1,600 — 1. Allison VanPelt, Was, 5:15.21; 2. Mazzy Jackson, Gra, 5:30.02; 3. Sophie Wright, Pal, 5:31.85; 4. Autumn Daigle, Hom, 5:34.53; 5. Brooke Satathite, Ken, 5:39.08; 6. Serena Becker, BCS, 5:40.31.

3,200 — 1. Mazzy Jackson, Gra, 11:37.38; 2. Jaycie Calvert, Ken, 11:54.99; 3. Autumn Daigle, Hom, 12:18.77; 4. Erika Arthur, Sol, 12:25.12; 5. Grace Annett, Gra, 12:35.40; 6. Leah Fallon, Ken, 12:55.37.

100H — 1. Hallee Blair, Kod, 16.18; 2. Savanna Wilson, Ken, 16.84; 3. Holleigh Jaime, Sol, 17.50; 4. Kylie Ness, Sol, 17.72; 5. Lilyahna Engebretsen, Col, 18.03; 6. Laura Inama, Hom, 18.13.

300H — 1. Hallee Blair, Kod, 47.73; 2. Hannah Villaroya, Kod, 49.90; 3. Savanna Wilson, Ken, 50.03; 4. Holleigh Jaime, Sol, 51.40; 5. Bethany Richmond, Sol, 52.63; 6. Katie Stockton, Ken, 53.43.

400 relay — 1. Soldotna (Ness, Leadens, Taylor, Kessler), 53.26; 2. Grace, 54.43; 3. Colony, 54.96; 4. Wasilla, 55.30; 5. Birchwood Christian, 56.86; 6. Nikiski, 57.03.

800 relay — 1. Houston (Finkenbinder, Bronson, Rusher, Timmons); 2. Palmer; 3. Seward; 4. Soldotna; 5. Grace Christian; 6. Colony.

1600 relay — 1. Kodiak (Villaroya, Raisley, Nicholson, Blair), 4:22.13; 2. Palmer, 4:24.44; 3. Homer, 4:24.75; 4. Colony, 4:33.50; 5. Soldotna, 4:35.67; 6. Grace, 4:35.82.

3200 relay — 1. Kenai Central (Satathite, Marlowe, Foster, Satathite), 10:23.04; 2. Soldotna, 10:43.48; 3. Grace, 11:01.92; 4. Palmer, 11:03.23; 5. Wasilla, 11:13.10; 6. Kodiak, 11:33.86.

Shot put — 1. Ahlissa Timu, Kod, 36—06.75; 2. Jenna Markel, Gra, 36—0.5; 3. Anna Brock, Hom, 34—03.5; 4. Sarah Uschmann, Pal, 34—0.5; 5. Hanna Tennesen, Col, 33—07.25; 6. Cheyenne Green, Was, 30—0.75.

Discus — 1. Coral Petrosius, Sew, 113—03; 2. Anna Brock, Hom, 107—09; 3. Ahlissa Timu, Kod, 103—11; 4. Jada Schultz, Col, 102—03; 5. Autumn Fisher, Sol, 100—06; 6. Kaitlyn Johnson, Nik, 98—11.

HJ — 1. Marina Carroll, Hom, 5—00; 2. Danica Schmidt, Sol, 4—10; 3. Kassandra Howard, Val, 4—10; 4. Aliann Schmidt, Sol, 4—08; 5. Kristen Beames, Pal, 4—06; 6. Kaarena Cruse, Col, 4—06.

LJ — 1. Laura Ellis, Gra, 17—01.25; 2. Jessee Tompkins, Gra, 16—02.5; 3. Olivia Davies, Was, 16—00; 4. Kylie Ness, Sol, 15—09.5; 5. Laura Inama, Hom, 15—06; 6. Dani Tompkins, Gra, 15—01.5.

TJ — 1. Olivia Davies, Was, 34—08.5; 2. Chelsea Plagge, Ken, 33—01.5; 3. Jessee Tompkins, Gra, 32—09.25; 4. Marina Carroll, Hom, 32—01; 5. Sophia Coverdell, Gra, 31—06.5; 6. Kylie Ness, Sol, 31—01.

BOYS

Team scores — 1. Soldotna, 117; 2. ACS, 109; 3. Kodiak, 92; 4. Colony, 66; 5. Grace Christian, 64; 6. Wasilla, 56; 7. Palmer, 44; 8. Valdez, 30; 9. Seward, 18; 10. Kenai Central, 16; 11. Su Valley, 6; 12. Houston, 1; 13. Homer, 1.

Individual

100 — 1. Owen Chadwick, Val, 11.31; 2. Ben Booth, Sol, 11.39; 3. Micah Bartel, Kod, 11.42; 4. Eli Cravens, Sol, 11.74; 5. Connor Spanos, Sew, 11.82; 6. Jayden Thomas, ACS, 11.88.

200 — 1. Fredrick Onochie, ACS, 22.88; 2. Micah Bartel, Kod, 23.25; 3. Owen Chadwick, Val, 23.40; 4. Ben Booth, Sol, 23.41; 5. Mason Reynolds, Was, 23.81; 6. Eli Cravens, Sol, 23.98.

400 — 1. Fredrick Onochie, ACS, 50.64; 2. Owen Chadwick, Val, 52.30; 3. Jayden Thomas, ACS, 52.61; 4. Landis Erwin, Col, 53.70; 5. Vincent Coverdell, Gra, 53.76; 6. Amiqaq Maclean, Pal, 54.36.

800 — 1. Connor Marbrey, Kod, 2:09.74; 2. Jake Waterhouse, Col, 2:10.46; 3. Vincent Coverdell, Gra, 2:10.53; 4. Connor Spanos, Sew, 2:10.84; 5. Joshua Davis, ACS, 2:12.08; 6. Rafael Bitanga, Kod, 2:12.75.

1,600 — 1. Tristian Merchant, ACS, 4:32.10; 2. Gabe Martin, Gra, 4:44.16; 3. Maison Dunham, Ken, 4:47.50; 4. Preston Wethington, Gra, 4:49.03; 5. Kaleb Smith, ACS, 4:52.44; 6. Connor Marbrey, Kod, 4:56.28.

3,200 — 1. Tristian Merchant, ACS, 9:28.21; 2. Gabe Martin, Gra, 10:18.15; 3. Connor Marbrey, Kod, 10:18.62; 4. Kaleb Smith, ACS, 10:19.06; 5. Preston Wethington, Gra, 10:29.73; 6. Thomas Macdonald, SuV, 10:42.26.

110H — 1. Wyatt Helton, Was, 16.48; 2. Felix Robertson, Col, 16.90; 3. William Parks, ACS, 17.03; 4. Corbin Wirz, Sol, 17.07; 5. Jarett Wilson, Ken, 17.20; 6. Brayden Reeves, Col, 17.37.

300H — 1. Connor Owens, Pal, 42.30; 2. Jarett Wilson, Ken, 43.19; 3. Wyatt Medcoff, Sol, 43.26; 4. Joshua Alonzo, Kod, 44.45; 5. William Parks, ACS, 45.05; 6. Felix Robertson, Col, 45.06.

400 relay — 1. Soldotna (Booth, Cravens, Hanson, Edelman), 45.73; 2. Wasilla, 45.89; 3. Colony, 47.66; 4. Soldotna B, 48.30; 5. Wasilla B, 48.86; 6. Kodiak, 49.10.

800 relay — 1. Soldotna (Booth, Cravens, Morrison, Edelman), 1:37.05; 2. Palmer, 1:40.99; 3. Valdez, 1:41.84; 4. Kodiak, 1:42.24; 5. Colony, 1:44.05; 6. Seward, 1:46.25.

1600 relay — 1. Wasilla (Hayes, Butrlakorn, Wagle, Helton), 3:50.59; 2. Kenai, 3:54.98; 3. Palmer, 4:05.90; 4. Colony, 4:13.34; 5. Homer, 4:23.94; 6. Palmer, NT.

3200 relay — 1. ACS (Davis, Smith, Szepanski, Merchant), 8:45.11; 2. Kodiak, 8:51.60; 3. Grace, 8:54.29; 4. Palmer, 9:13.34; 5. Soldotna, 9:16.77; 6. Colony, 9:25.00.

Shot put — 1. Yasuhiro Yamashita, Kod, 49–01.50; 2. Galen Brantley, Sol, 46—00.75; 3. Cody Nye, Sol, 45—03; 4. James Coulombe, Gra, 44—08; 5. Melvin Lloyd, Sol, 43—06; 6. Kevin Maramba, Kod, 42—04.

Discus — 1. James Coulombe, Gra, 155—05; 2. Galen Brantley, Sol, 133—04; 3. Cody Nye, Sol, 129—02; 4. Melvin Lloyd, Sol, 124—07; 5. Anthony White, Col, 123—00; 6. Alexander Bayle, Col, 121—00.

HJ — 1. Julian McPhail, Col, 5—08; 2. Dylan Jeffus, Was, 5—06; 3. Michael Hardy, Kod, 5—06; 4. Brynn Miller, Pal, 5—06; 5. Cy Jolley, SuV, 5—06; 6. Brayden Reeves, Col, 5—04.

LJ — 1. Shayne Sullivan, Sew, 19—07; 2. Gavin Conant, Was, 19—05.25; 3. Wyatt Helton, Was, 19—04.75; 4. Dylan Jeffus, Was, 19—02.75; 5. Tyler Morrison, Sol, 18—11.5; 6. Jaden Caple, Pal, 18—07.25.

TJ — 1. William Parks, ACS, 40—04.75; 2. Tyler Morrison, Sol, 40—03.5; 3. Connor Owens, Pal, 39—10; 4. Julian McPhail, Col, 38—06.25; 5. Brayden Reeves, Col, 38—02.25; 6. Hunter Hayes, Was, 37—09.

Kenai Central senior Hayley Maw takes off from the starting blocks in the girls 200-meter sprint Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central senior Hayley Maw takes off from the starting blocks in the girls 200-meter sprint Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna junior Tyler Morrison makes a long jump attempt Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna junior Tyler Morrison makes a long jump attempt Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna junior Ben Booth (right) hands off sophomore teammate Eli Cravens in the boys 800-meter relay Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna junior Ben Booth (right) hands off sophomore teammate Eli Cravens in the boys 800-meter relay Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna junior Ben Booth (right) hands off sophomore teammate Eli Cravens in the boys 800-meter relay Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central senior Jarett Wilson tackles the boys 300-meter hurdles Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central senior Jarett Wilson tackles the boys 300-meter hurdles Saturday afternoon at the SoHi Region III Preview Invite at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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